Application Tips & Tricks

Successful Job Application: use the STAR formula!

When you start to apply for a job, the following questions arise: How do I write a convincing cover letter? How do I best prepare for an interview?

One of the most important steps in the application process - apart from in-depth research about the company you are applying to - is critical self-reflection.

In order to present yourself successfully to a potential employer, you ought to know your own worth. Who am I and what do I have to offer? And you must be able to structure and present these facts in a way that inspires your audience. Easier said than done?

The STAR formula is your path to success!

The STAR formula can help to structure your thoughts and positive experiences, namely the aspects and qualities you want to sell.  .

Think about one of your most successful projects, from your student times, your working life or even your school days. This could be a group project in which you had a specific role, or a really good result you are proud of and would like to tell your future employer about. 

With this project in mind, you can now look at the following aspects:

Situation: where and under which circumstances did you work on this project?
Did a professor ask you to design the layout for a specific brand? Did you have to plan your year´s graduation party as a member of a committee? Or was it your first group project at university?

Now try to determine which Tasks you had to perform in this situation. Research, produce early designs, decide on the coordination process within the group…

Fine. Then let us look at the Actions you took to fulfill your tasks? Very specific and in detail. What exactly did you do?
Did you do market research on the internet? Did you scribble something on paper or on the tablet? Did you call for a meeting with your team to build structures? Did you decide on a communication platform: MS Teams, Whatsapp, Discord, e-mail? Did you agree regular meetings? Etc. etc.
Important: try to reach an in-depth understanding of the process. 

Finally - and this is definitely the most rewarding part of the exercise - you look at the Results of the overall process.
Example: A Corporate Design was developed, and you put together a CD manual which was presented to a jury of professors and entrepreneurs. You received top grades. You got an offer for a student job …

Mission accomplished. If you adhere to the method, using the STAR formula honestly and positively, taking bullet-points (or writing full sentences), you have taken an important step toward a successful application. You will see that it becomes a lot easier to write a convincing cover letter. And you are much better prepared for your upcoming interview. Because you have reflected about yourself and your own results. Good luck!